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Portables Censorship Hardware

OLPC Used to Browse Porn 338

youthoftoday writes "The OLPC project to bring the internet to third world has worked well — too well, it seems. Yahoo reports that Nigerian Children are already using the OLPC to browse for porn." This is why as kids we couldn't look at National Geographic issues without being supervised. A rep from OLPC said, understandably, that the laptops would now be fitted with filters.
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OLPC Used to Browse Porn

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  • by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:40AM (#19938325) Homepage
    We have finally brought the joys of the internet to those less fortunate.
  • Yeah right (Score:5, Funny)

    by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:42AM (#19938333)
    I really can't take the story's word for it without photographic evidence.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:42AM (#19938339)
    Americans looked at naked Africans as kids, so African kids should be able to look at naked Americans now.
  • big deal (Score:2, Insightful)

    by heptapod ( 243146 )
    I'd rather those Nigerian children would browse porn instead of sending out 419 emails.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      This is a big deal. If you think that Americans are conservatives and puritanians, you should take a look at some African countries (I am not sure about Nigeria though). If they see that most kids can access porn on their laptops they can very well consider this a big enough issue to completly withdraw from the program.
  • In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deadplant ( 212273 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:42AM (#19938345)
    It has been reported that the sun has risen in Nigeria today.
    Analyst are in agreement that the sun will almost certainly rise again probably once each day for the next few weeks.

    Also: filters? get a fucking clue.
    How about instead we just use these internets to send the offending officials some biology texts so that can learn about human sexuality and stop trying to stifle it.
    • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:44AM (#19938365) Journal
      better yet, point them to goatse and tubgirl.
  • by Shabbs ( 11692 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:45AM (#19938371)
    No matter where you go on the 'net, chances are you're going to hit some kind of porn sooner or later whether you meant to or not. Since these were originally destined for children, I'm surprised they did NOT come equipped with filters from the start. A big oversight for sure.

    OLPC Project: "Here children, I give you THE INTERNET... totally unfiltered. Enjoy."

    [5 minutes later...]

    Children: "What is Goatse?"


    Get those filters on!
    • by Eudial ( 590661 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:51AM (#19938411)

      Get those filters on!

      If they truly only blocked porn, then maybe it would be a matter of discussion, but certain filters' habit of censoring all sorts of irrelevant contents, political and otherwise really makes porn the lesser of the two evils.
      • by Tuoqui ( 1091447 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:04PM (#19938493) Journal
        As much as I hate to say it. You're right.

        If you start blocking porn because of its content (porn) then the people who have the power will demand other things be blocked too which leads to the Great Firewall of China problem... Except this one would be in Nigeria.

        The internet was supposed to free everyone and allow them to think for themselves. Naturally those in power decide to try and force it into a tool for control just like everything else from Income Taxes to Drivers Licenses.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lbbros ( 900904 )

          The internet was supposed to free everyone and allow them to think for themselves.

          You are making a fundamental assumption - that these children are able to think for themselves. Face it, they are not. They can be *influenced* by things, rather than influence them, either passively, or actively. This is (also obviously) because they aren't adults yet. Parents' education, school, etc. influences you in a way when you are little, as well.

          And for the other posts that mention that filters are "censorship"... you're misguided. If these computers are meant for schooling, they are meant for

        • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @08:49PM (#19942241) Homepage Journal

          If you start blocking porn because of its content (porn) then the people who have the power will demand other things be blocked too which leads to the Great Firewall of China problem... Except this one would be in Nigeria.

          I've been dealing with exactly this issue for the last 4 years. I work in the developing world, and one of the things I do is assist with the integration of computers into programmes of all kinds. I can tell you that one of the biggest fears (after malware) is the content that people will access.

          This may strike some of you as bizarre or even disgusting, but in cultures where sexuality - and women too - have historically been repressed, it's not unusual for a man to sit in his office and wank[*], not stopping when other staff members pass the door. Men can sometimes be surprisingly aggressive about their desire for porn. I remember being told a story about IT staff opening pop ups on a miscreant's computer, saying "We can see what you're doing. Stop it!" He just kept right on going. I myself have sat in the next office to one especially persistent guy, blocking domains the moment he accessed them. In the end I had to use back-channels to get the situation addressed.

          [*] Odds are really good that this is the only place he can access the Internet. There's no computer at home, and Internet cafés are too expensive. The compulsion simply becomes to strong to deny.

          Everybody asks me to install filters, and I do it, because in this country, pornography is against the law. But I explain to every manager who will listen that the technical measures are simply CYA: They exist so that you can argue in a court of law that you took reasonable measures to curb illegal activity. Ultimately, controlling what staff and/or project stakeholders see on their computers is a basic management issue. If people are properly supervised, they will not stray far. If they do, they must be disciplined.

          In short: There's no technical substitute for supervision.

          The internet was supposed to free everyone and allow them to think for themselves. Naturally those in power decide to try and force it into a tool for control just like everything else from Income Taxes to Drivers Licenses.

          I submit that this contention is just as flawed as the idea that a content filter is the right tool for the job. What you are describing is people allowing a political and social climate that permits this kind of behaviour. The challenge is not a technical one. The means already exist for a complete surveillance state, and we can't un-invent the tools. All we can do is ensure that they are used appropriately. And that problem doesn't have a technical solution. It comes down to human beings showing humanity to one another.

          I'll refrain from commenting on any current socio-political trends that might serve as examples. I'm sure we can all find suitable cases in our own back yards.

      • If they truly only blocked porn, then maybe it would be a matter of discussion, but certain filters' habit of censoring all sorts of irrelevant contents, political and otherwise really makes porn the lesser of the two evils.

        Blocking US Football Superbowls XXX through XXXIX and the movies "xXx" and "XXX: State of the Union" are hardly evils, and probably goods.
    • by rlp ( 11898 )
      Some time later:

      OLPC Project: The filters are in place.

      Children: Why is everything in Chinese?
  • No way! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viraptor ( 898832 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:46AM (#19938377) Homepage
    Seriously... who would've thought... Why was it reported at all? Maybe another title would be better - "Shocking revelation: Nigerian boys also want to see sex". I'm not surprised - are you? I'd say that great majority of males on the intertubes browsed porn sites at least once - keyword statistics from search engines seem to agree.
  • by teknikl ( 539522 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:48AM (#19938395)
    latex balloon sales to Nigeria skyrocket overnight!
  • Understandably? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:48AM (#19938399)
    A rep from OLPC said, understandably, that the laptops would now be fitted with filters.

    No, sorry, I do not understand. There's nothing evil about porn and those filter won't work anyway.
  • I mean - think of the children!!!
    • I mean - think of the children!!!

      Yes every single one of those children, and most every child in the world is a result of fucking. Why again do we need to protect them from this knowledge? Aside from protecting the tender egos of the older men and women who are past thier sexual prime and hate to be reminded of that fact?
  • understandably? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:53AM (#19938425) Homepage Journal
    So its understandable that we will start enforcing our concept of morality on others right off the bat?

    Remember, morality is relative.

    • Re:understandably? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:07PM (#19938521)
      Remember, morality is relative

      Relative to what?

      Reality isn't very relative. A system of values ("morality") that's grounded in reality and reason is fairly straightforward. People can (and of course, do) certainly dream up philosophical frameworks based on all-powerful invisible friends that still dole out the occasional case of childhood cancer just to keep us all on our toes, and operate as if some magic representation of your firing synapses are going to keep echoing through time after the meat computer that allowed them to come up with that bit of whimsy in the first place is being eaten by worms... but certain moral decisions that are anchored in imaginary consequences (or the lack of them) aren't "relative" - they're wrong. They may frequently overlap with a framework based on reason and reality, but they're going to suffer the rot of mixed premises, and the symptoms of that are the attempts by their holders to act in accordance with contradictions... which can't exist, and which produce sometimes tragic results.
      • Einstein would've probably taken offense to your statement that reality isn't relative, but I agree with your post. Also, I wouldn't necessarily call moral decisions wrong per se, but misguided. In truth, you could make a decision based on ethereal moral values which is a 'right' decision, even though you made have made the decision for the 'wrong' reasons -- though based on your previous statements I would venture to say you probably lean towards a deterministic philosophy (meat computer..) thus negating
      • Re:understandably? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:46PM (#19938735) Homepage
        Well done you. You've described why your own view of reality is an objective fact that everyone could base their own morality on. You're in popular company there, with many dictatorships, religions and cults. But most people are capable of seeing that their own subjective view of objective reality differs from other peoples. Hence, morality being relative to the observer. Sure, for most of the big life and death questions most people's view of morality overlaps, but that doesn't make it an absolute.

        How is that autism working out for ya?

        PS The idea that morality is timeless and external to the human race pretty much died out with Kant.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ScentCone ( 795499 )
          You've described why your own view of reality is an objective fact that everyone could base their own morality on.

          Nonsense. I've asserted that reality is what reality is, and it doesn't give a damn whether, or how well, or in what way I perceive it. The better one is equipped to grasp reality (through critical thinking, better tools like the scientific method, etc) the less that wishful/magical thinking tends to drive one's perceptions. I don't CARE if someone's born-of-ignorance (or foisted-on-them-by-s
          • Re:understandably? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by onemorechip ( 816444 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @02:17PM (#19939471)
            Nonsense. I've asserted that reality is what reality is, and it doesn't give a damn whether, or how well, or in what way I perceive it.

            I call double nonsense. Asserting a truism doesn't validate an argument, unless you are arguing for the truism, in which case you aren't really making an argument.

            Relativism simply means that our values are to be judged by how well they serve society. Absolutism means that those values are an integral part of external reality (independent of observers/participants in that reality), and therefore requires that people serve the value system instead of the other way around. Reality is what reality is, but that in no way implies that values are objective.
          • Re:understandably? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by chazwurth ( 664949 ) < minus city> on Saturday July 21, 2007 @03:40PM (#19940189)
            There is no pre-existing blanket-o'-morality waiting for you to see it and embrace it...

            That's true, but I don't think that supports your original assertion, namely:

            A system of values ("morality") that's grounded in reality and reason is fairly straightforward.

            Reason cannot ground a morality. Reason is a tool that doesn't provide goals. It gets us from point A to point B -- that is, it allows us to achieve the goals we've set for ourselves. It cannot tell us what those goals should be, and it's precisely this 'should' that grounds any moral system. So, for example, if my ethnically related compatriots and I want to kill our ethnically different neighbors -- because they make us uncomfortable, because we're short on land and water and they have plenty of both, because their beliefs offend us, whatever -- reason can tell us many things. It can tell us that we can't get away with what we want to do because someone with a big stick (another neighboring group, say) will come and kill us in turn; or that the people we want to kill are too strong for us to assault; or perhaps that nothing stands in our way of accomplishing our desire. If the latter, reason can tell us how to best go about killing our enemies -- what tactics to use, what timeline to follow to achieve the best results, how to hide our actions from outside observers until we've succeeded, etc.

            What reason cannot tell us is that we should not kill our neighbors in any absolute sense. It can tell us that we should not try to kill them because we cannot handle the consequences of trying. Or it can tell us that we should because we can get away with it. But it can never tell us that we shouldn't because it would be morally wrong to do so. Reason doesn't dictate what we should or shouldn't want -- only how to get where we want to be.

            Moral systems that invoke reason are thus also relative -- relative to our desires and to all of the assumptions we bring to the table. Whether reality itself is relative to anything, or an absolute framework in which we live, is more or less irrelevant. The benefit of classical systems of ethics -- what gives them their moral force -- is that they are based on unreasonable foundations, such as the sanctity of human life, which reason cannot in any sense provide. We can reject them because they do not, in our view, reflect reality; but we can't replace them with a tool that has no claim to absolute moral truth. If we're to be honest logicians, we must accept the consequences of our conclusions and live in a world that is ultimately far less comfortable and settled and straightforward than the world of our religious forebears.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by CdBee ( 742846 )
      If you're an American or Western European your morality's probably a hell of a lot more lenient than that imposed from within Nigeria - the country's spiritual ethic seems to be firmly under the control of either radical Islamists in some areas and the kind of Christian churchmen who even Genghis Khan would consider to be a bit right-wing (death to gays, no women prists, etc) everywhere else!

      A little big of filtering might save those kids from getting in very serious trouble with their local moral taleba
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      Look, while different cultures have different opinions on what should be blocked, I think *every* culture agrees that the Internet as-is, unfiltered is not safe for minors, unless you're one of those laizze-faire parents that think all forms of age limits on movies, games, pornography and so on are bunk. For example I've seen raunchier pics that Janet Jackson's nipple on the front page of our national newspapers (not to mention the nipple itself enlarged when it was news) but that doesn't mean we think show
      • Parents (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nurb432 ( 527695 )
        No, I'm one of the parents that feel its MY job to supervise what my child sees, not some corporate goon from another country.

        Its my right to teach my child what i feel is right and wrong, not his.
    • Re:understandably? (Score:5, Informative)

      by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @01:20PM (#19939013)
      So its understandable that we will start enforcing our concept of morality on others right off the bat?
      Remember, morality is relative.

      OLPC is a state-subsidized educational program for children.

      If you want OLPC to succeed you do not create problems in the classroom, you do not embarrass its local sponsors.

      Nigeria is a mix of Islam, evangelical Protestant, conservative Catholic, and tribal religion. Tolerance of pornography - and the exposure of children to pornography - doesn't figure prominently in any one of them.

      Porn on the Internet is framed in terms of the Western stereotypes of the dominant male and the subservient [often promiscuous] female. In the Nigerian setting, this comes at a price:

      Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. It is a country on the brink of an AIDS disaster. And its dominant religions - traditional religion, Christianity, and Islam - all proclaim the superiority of males to females. These three aspects are closely linked.
      In traditional Nigerian society, there is no separation between the laws governing secular and spiritual spheres. What the gods say is sanctioned by society and forms the norms of the community. They cannot be challenged, especially by women. This divinely ordained male dominance forms the ultimate basis of patriarchal entrenchment in Nigerian culture.
      The siege of patriarchy encompasses all spheres in Nigerian society including practices like female genital mutilation, child marriage, widow inheritance, rape, and polygamy. Talk about sex is considered immoral; sexual issues are not open to discussion. This secrecy surrounding sexual relations, combined with the religious and cultural expectations that subjugate women, largely explains women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS in the country. No effort to curb the spread of AIDS in Nigeria can afford to ignore the influence of religion and culture.
      Women in Nigeria: Religion, Culture, and AIDS [] [2002]

      On a fundamental level, Christians and Muslims in Nigeria have similar views on the why HIV continues to spread: both groups see promiscuous behavior as the root cause of the HIV crisis. Promiscuity is frowned upon heavily because of religious teachings and because of underlying cultural traditions within Nigerian society. Even before Christianity and Islam were introduced, Nigerian cultural tradition emphasized the importance of sexual discretion and believed that sex should be reserved for marriage. Leaders in both the Christian and Muslim communities discourage their followers from pre-marital and extra-marital sex, and teach that procreation is the main reason for sex. Religion and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria []

  • huh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld@gmai l . c om> on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:55AM (#19938433) Homepage
    I don't know why the OLPC project is giving internet access anyway. If I were them I'd create a closed network with educational sites alone. They don't need access to the internet universe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Socguy ( 933973 )
      On the whole you may be right. However, I do remember that one of the goals was to allow farmers and independent business people to access the internet to market their products worldwide and gather information regarding their occupation. Besides, with all the negative comments I've just read on /. regarding censorship, how would an isolated network of approved information be any different than applying filters? Add to that any complaints that poor countries are being held back from the internet and a sep
  • by Cynical_Dude ( 548704 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @11:56AM (#19938441)
    Don't forget to export your morality with the laptops.
    • Never trust anybody to meet your own morality standards. When you ship the internet to the third world, make sure they only see what _you_ want them to see.
    • by dAzED1 ( 33635 )
      "insightful?" How is this post "insightful?"

      The very act of what they're doing is exporting their morality. The OLPC folks think it is morally wrong for some people to be so poor, they don't have access to things which, in today's day and age, are considered completely necessary for success. They have moral qualms with the disparity of knowledge, wealth, etc that their program seeks, as a moral imperitive, to lessen to some degree.

      So you don't want the OLPC program to exist at all?
    • Many of the areas of the world these things are going to are generally *less* liberal about sex than we are -- e.g. several are predominantly Muslim.
  • This is why as kids we couldn't look at National Geographic issues without being supervised.
    Ha! National Geographic IS porn for Nigerian kids!

    Oh Yeah! Look at the hangers on that one!

  • will emerge that the pornographic material the kids were browsing was J. D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye," Titian's and Disney's "The Little Mermaid." []
  • Therapy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Ribbon ( 986353 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:05PM (#19938503) Journal
    "A rep from OLPC said, understandably, that the laptops would now be fitted with filters."

    I think they should also send out therapists. Those children will clearly be traumatised by viewing evil images of naked women.
  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:12PM (#19938551) Homepage Journal
    There is an AIDs issue to deal with here!

    A question to ask: Does porn help promote AIDS with viewers or help to demote it?

    Perhaps there is an age of threshold but that is something that should be determined by the current living environment.

    So what is an indicator of that threshold? What gave the kids the idea of looking for porn on the internet in the first place? Seems to me the threshold was already passed before they looked for it on the internet.

    I'm almost 50 years old and my email is filtered, not by my choice, such that I still get the porn promotion emails but the urls are changed to be random character strings. Whether or not I would access such sites is not the issue.

    The issue is of censorship of what is in fact a part of human nature.

    If you make something as natural as sex bad then you'll guarantee the typical rebellious teen age person will find a way. And maybe that way is such an act as to spread disease and unwanted pregnancies.

    What can porn teach? proper safe sex? It can perhaps remove some level of curiosity ...

    But porn or not, there is the natural human sex drive. Deny it and you'll have problems develop from ignorance and un-natural guilt. Such acts as rape included.

    And how about the history of porn? What can it teach? The dangers of AIDs and other STDs?

    If kids already know to look for porn on the internet, maybe its time the subject matter be properly addressed instead of being swept under the rug filter.

    The biggest problem, the biggest contributing factor with the spread of AIDs in Africa, is ignorance.

    Wait a minute, I live in Atlanta, I'm white...

    Forget everything I said above.....
    • Porn does teach you to ejaculate outside of the orifices, so I guess it could be good AIDs prevention in some way. Semen in the eye might be risky behavior though. A lot of porn does not encourage condom use though, and it often encourages anal sex.

      I don't know what effect porn has otherwise. Does jackin' it to porn satisfy their sexual urges, or does looking at porn make them want to go out and have sex more?

      I don't think a kid occasionaly coming across porn is that big of deal, but free and unfettered acc
  • is that it ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rs232 ( 849320 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:15PM (#19938563)
    Is that all they can find to say about the OLPC. When was the last time you read a headline about schoolchildren viewing porn under MS Bisto? How about a story about an international news organization partnering up with US cable company's to deliver quality porn to cable and satellite subscribers. Here in Euroland we can always can rely on Murdochs Sky Adult channels.

    Comcast cashing in on porn []

    AT&T porn channel challenged by religious investors []

    All we need now is OLPC contributes to a) terrorism, b) money laundering and c) contributes to third world poverty. Scratch the last one, its the GPL that does that [], according to Jonathan Schwartz.
  • by Djatha ( 848102 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:18PM (#19938579)

    Watching porn by those childres is a positive sign. It clearly is an indication that they are able to connect to the world-wide community and explore their new freedom the internet gives them. Clearly, they took initiative to find new things and porn may be a first, but I am certain that they will use their laptops to explore other areas of the internet, freedom and knowledge.

    The article is tendentious, characterising the whole OLPC project as a failure because children use their laptop to look for porn. As if that is the only thing they will do with it. But it get worse: they want to filter the contents of the internet. Censoring the internet, limiting the freedom of these children. Instead of the possibility to gain unlimited access to information, they get (state/organisation) controlled access.

    I thought the idea of this OLPC project was to close the digital divide. Instead, these kids get only a surrogate. Charity comes with a morality, hypocrites!

    Porn indicates freedom, freedom implies porn.

  • Good! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Tribbin ( 565963 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:19PM (#19938587) Homepage
    We will see a tremendous AIDS drop within a few decades.
  • by NeverVotedBush ( 1041088 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:28PM (#19938633)
    Turgid, erect, throbbing, tubes...

    I guess old Senator what's his name was right, eh kiddies? ;-)
  • Opening new forms of communication is always going to result a wild rush of memes, propaganda and fetishes until the culture adapts, whether its porn, religion, radical hatred or lolcats.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @12:36PM (#19938677)
    Could someone explain to me, preferably without recourse to religious argument, what is wrong with these kids viewing porn? I mean, they're actively seeking it out, and so must already be interested, so you can't argue that the laptops are somehow corrupting them - they're already corrupt (by that definition)...
    • Here's your answer: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

      Could someone explain to me, preferably without recourse to religious argument, what is wrong with these kids viewing porn?

      Browsing porn distracts from OLPC's goal of using those computers for educational purposes.

      Pornography (hardcore, softcore or other) may be educational in the context of a sex-ed class, but otherwise it is outside the intent of the mission.

      That is the basic justification (not religious morality) for many of the restrictions placed upong kids in an educational environment... in a secular

    • by ydrol ( 626558 )
      Deep down we probably all want to goose the secretary and jump on her bones, but society teaches us to balance that with pretending to be interested in her character. Over exposure to porn with impressionable young minds makes this difficult balancing act even harder...
    • by HerbieStone ( 64244 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @01:48PM (#19939259) Homepage
      Pornography is all about sexual fantasies. Most people don't have sex like the do on a porno movie. An impressionable children might come to believe that having sex like seen on a porno movie is the normal way of having it.

      I'm not against nudity or teaching kids about sex, but it should be a balanced education about the facts and not just about some male fantasies.

    • by ttnb ( 1121411 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @03:08PM (#19939917)
      The problem is that this gets in the way of the project's ability to achieve its real goals:

      In every society there are people there are people with stricter-than-average standards of morality with regard to matters of sexuality and there are people with less strict standards. Here, with "standards of morality" I mean the pricinples according to which the people actually conduct their lives, I'm not talking about moral rules that people claim to uphold without actually living accordingly.

      It can not be denied that for long-term economic development the key group of people to reach are those which who have sufficiently high standards of morality that they are able to have stable families in which the children are supported and empowered so that there is a good chance of them making significant positive contributions to the future of their community, region and/or country.

      In every society, there is segmentation: Parents who work hard on empowering their children to be really successful will generally desire for their children to associate with the children of other parents who do the same. This is easy to understand economically. After all, in every society, knowing the right people is a key success factor.

      Now what you absolutely don't want to happen in a project with development goals is for the key segments of society (with the people whom you really need to reach) to become unenthusiastic about the project because it gets associated with blatant porn in ways which are considered totally unacceptable in those segments of society.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mike1024 ( 184871 )
      Could someone explain to me, preferably without recourse to religious argument, what is wrong with these kids viewing porn?

      Nothing inherently, but in the particular case of OLPC I can see why filtering might be reasonable:

      1. In a class room situation any web browsing could be disruptive to teaching, but pornography particularly so. It would be pretty weird if at work the guy opposite me in the office was looking at porn all the time!

      2. Parents may be reluctant to give children access to OLPC machines if the
  • I object to the inclusion of filters by the OLPC. What is required in this instance is that the children be educated as to what is expected of them, learning what is right and wrong, personal responsibility etc. Who decides what the filters should filter? The US? Does that mean that sites discussing evolution should now be denied to Nigerian children?. Or how about letting a strict Muslim nation choose? Then we can ban cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Or how about Russia or China? I'm sure that th
  • Ignorance in the supervision is where the blame lies. It's the same as if you gave a child a blowtorch to light a barbecue and the kid burns down the garage in the process. Only an idiot blames the torch.
  • One hand to turn the crank, and the other to well, slide the rod... truly an amazing feat!
  • Why do children need laptops anyway? People think that technology is power. Knowledge is power. People think that technology is knowledge. So you hand these kids a laptop and expect them to then become knowledge able. Personally I think that education has gone down hill ever since technology has been allowed in the classrooms.

    When doing research in a library (with physical books) you'll probably stumble across 15 different topics and learn several things rather than just immediately finding that paragr
  • So not only is this project a major supporter of digital rights management, but now it's going to be supporting censorware, too? Am I the only one who sees how dangerous this project is on the whole?

  • Inaccurate (Score:5, Informative)

    by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @01:26PM (#19939085) Journal
    This wasn't done on OLPC laptops. Not only did digg have the story before you, it was correct. donated-laptops-to-surf-the-porn-of-course-280715. php []

    The OLPC manufacturers were just asked about what they'd do. That was there only relation to the story.

  •       I think this is great news. Perhaps the amount of rapes (a HUGE problem in Africa) will decrease as these people find a different outlet for their sexual tension/frustrations.
  • Adult supervision? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by superdude72 ( 322167 ) on Saturday July 21, 2007 @04:23PM (#19940491)
    I don't think kids younger than, say, 13, should have unrestricted access to the Internet any more than they should have unrestricted access to the rest of the world. Someone needs to keep an eye on them, provide guidance, and keep them from getting into too much trouble. So I'm not so concerned at the fact that OLPC computers can be used to access porn--that's just a side effect of having a real computer and real Internet access. I'm more concerned that there may be a lack of adult guidance. I know that the societies targeted by OLPC skew very young demographically, but is enough being done to support the adults, or are we simply providing laptops to children and expecting them to figure things out for themselves?

Real Programmers don't write in PL/I. PL/I is for programmers who can't decide whether to write in COBOL or FORTRAN.